You have already spent 24 months out of the 60 you had secured from the citizens of India. You have succeeded in serving them to the best of your capabilities. In a nut shell, you have worked as a true RajYogi. It needs no emphasis that the country had started in 1947 with a RajRishi at the helm of affairs. Steering the country out of a morose of centuries of subjugation to foreign forces with limitations of all kind like financial, social or political demanded someone who understood the national and global scenario well and had the merits of a visionary and a dedicated public servant. The country embarked on a moral course with public servants of the most impeccable integrity. There was a time when the name of a Pimputkar evoked awe for the vigilance law of the country. Then came the dark Emergency when honesty became a vice and dishonesty a virtue. One need not go beyond the 15 Point Programme- a sham exercise to fool the people, public servants and the government. Since then the nation has been craving for an honest government. What they got was perhaps the worst government which indulged in open corruption for full 10 years with gay abundance, till the people came to trust you. In between two other governments at the centre and several at the states had come, but could not survive their full term or secure public mandate for a second term. The Janata government and the Atal Behari Vajpayee government were not corrupt but the first one was uprooted in about 3 years and the other was defeated after the first term. And here lies the warning sign for you.
You have maneuvered your way through the negative forces rather successfully in your first year in office. It was largely due to the Congress Party’s shock at its most humiliating defeat and the opposition’s total rout. The media, especially the English newspapers and TV channels had been their hyper-active best fifth column. You brought with you the power of the social media- you tweeted before they twisted news or painted it with their own preferred shade of views. You outpaced them. The people enjoyed it. They followed you and abandoned the newspapers and the TV channels. This only added to their frustration.
Your party leaders helped them by making irresponsible statements without understanding the complexity of governance. All of them wanted to prove their warriors-of-words worth (shabdveerta). For the opposition and the content starved newspapers/TV channels it was godsend. They exploited it fully. They, who were in terrible fear of you, suddenly grew bold to challenge you politically. They were emboldened by the political change in Delhi brought about by the assembly elections. But they needed issues to start a campaign as they did during the Janata government of Morarji Desai.
The people in India are not aware of the enemies outside India. Pakistan or China are not the only two countries to engage our total attention,; there are more powerful and better organized forces with clear plans and designs for India. They are successful in their communications whereas Indians generally end up in cross connections. Just compare the Obama speak “tolerance” and compare with every statement instantly flagged as “controversial” or “disputed” by the media and you will draw the same conclusions. Any statement made of foreign forces working against our national interests carries more value for our media than those made by the Indian leaders.
It happens to be so because the values of the west and the east are in conflict many a times. Our elite opinion makers are intrinsically for western values and criticize anybody who takes pride in Indian values. Modi is branded by them “rightist” and hence all criticism directed at the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) is automatically aimed at Modi. Fortunately for Modi, as also for all our politicians, all Indians don’t read newspapers, much less the English language newspapers; neither do they like to watch English news or debates on TV. That way the damage is restricted to the urban habitats and the middle class people, who have their own opinions on most topics.
However, their campaign against Modi has only grown in their Goebbellian editorials, student disturbances and disruption of parliament. Modi’s tweets alone can’t take on all of them. Even if he does not fall into their trap, he will digress to non-action in the remaining tenure. The fact is, it is this latter part of his first term that is crucial for him and his party and most of all to the people of India.
If Modi has survived the non-stop assault on him all these months, it is due to his integrity and plans for public good, which have kept him so much above his opponents that they will never succeed in harming him till 2019, God willing!
But that is no policy. Even the Pandavas needed the help, support and cooperation of many to survive the 18 day war. Even the Pandavas could not have won their war without their Sarathi (Guide/mentor). In Modi’s case, policy should be his guide. Even then, he should try to take the media along rather than suffering a hostile media. He should either clean the media of corruption or discipline them lawfully. It is no easy task because media is a roaring business and source of unlawful power. Our jjournalists are half-politician and half-intellectuals, who block entry of all those who can express freely and frankly on public issues. They are openly loyal to political parties. Modi should carry on with his direct to home approach and assuage the feelings of the media to some extent. He needs to deliver in the next 24 months before electioneering drowns every good effort in cacophony. What could he do?
Modi has to convince every housewife of his commitment to serve the people of India. Jan Dhan Yojana has no meaning to her so long as Dal sells @200/kg. Unless the price of Dal comes down to the level of 60 to 90 rupees for a kilogram, Modi should forget the second term. It was more than a year ago when Arhar and Urad had touched 190 and 200 a kilo that I had warned of the consequences. The Food ministry, Finance Ministry and the Consumer Affairs ministry ignored these warnings. Modi does not understand the public anger at such high prices. In Mumbai more than 100000 Tons of Dals were seized in raids but the matter was brushed under the carpet and prices had continued to rise. In India, if Dal & roti sell at such hellish prices, nobody should hope to get a second term. What will happen in the 5th year of his term would be no less a scam which will blacken all the good work done by Modi. Why can’t Modi ensure supply of dal at the rates suggested above? Is subsidy worse than reviving the government of the corrupt as had happened in 1980 and 2004? If it happens, it would be the greatest shock to the people of India, who may not “trust” any leader for decades.
Modi has to understand that he can reach the voter at almost no cost this way rather than all other schemes or advertisement blitz. People must get enough to eat at affordable price, get reliable health facilities and education for children. If they get it, it makes all the difference that no advertisement campaign can ever do.
Modi can’t expect the Congress to change even a bit and cooperate in the smooth functioning of the parliament, for it is a matter of survival for them. The media can’t close down its business and withdraw to the Himalayas. The foreign forces will only increase their pressure as the economic conditions in the developed countries worsen. Domestic political and social conflicts will take time to end till the new generation completely replaces the old generation. Re-establishing values in society, government and administration will take time. It is no time for Modi to create new enemies on a daily basis by ill advised government policies like the EPF withdrawals or interest rates, NOC for Doctors and gaps in schemes and their implementation. The intelligentsia may not be on the same page but need not be offended till the BJP produces its own scholars to take on the established ones. They may not make much of a difference in the voting, but influence public opinion. The past can’t justify blocking of the present. Modernity is the need of the hour and antiquity the strength of our “collective thought”.
Modi’s second term will depend on the way he approaches the housewife. LPG cylinder will be of use if she has Dal to cook and chapattis to make. Rigging prices of onions, tomato or potato will again be used as a tool to discredit the government by the opposition, which had made a success of it in the past. It is a frightening dream for her so far!